Kindness UK Doctoral Conference Award

This annual scheme, which began in 2016, is funded by Kindness UK and managed by the Doctoral School at the University of Sussex. Its primary goal is to disseminate research on kindness and its effect on people and communities. The scheme supports doctoral researchers at Sussex with a stipend of up to £1,000 per student towards the cost of conference registration, travel and accommodation. The award is open to all academic disciplines. Find out more about the award (and how to apply).

As part of the project, we celebrate kindness-based research with an annual Sussex Kindness Symposium. This event celebrates the diverse range of research within Sussex that studies and promotes kindness for people, communities and the planet. We gather research from across campus and beyond, and award winners are given the opportunity to present their findings to a diverse audience. You can read a blog post about the 2018 Sussex Kindness Symposium.

Relevant research can involve work from a wide range of issues, including (but not limited to): medical and social care services, business practices, educational initiatives and strategies, pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours, issues of globalisation, climate change, legal practices and political activities, international aid and development work, and development in the arts and media.  

All previous winners and their doctoral projects are listed below: 


  • 2018
    • Dr Tamara Leeuwerik (School of Psychology): "The relationship between self-compassion and OCD."
    • Xue Zhang (School of Law, Politics, & Sociology): "Counterterrorism and human rights protection."
    • Ishrat Khan (School of Global Studies): "Navigating economic empowerment and sexual agency: experiences of middle-class and upper-class Muslim women in Bangladesh."
  • 2017
    • Jo Cutler (School of Psychology): "The neuroscience of charitable giving."
    • Jess Cotney (School of Psychology): "The effect of a kindness-based reflective writing task on adolescent wellbeing."
  • 2016
    • Dr Jenny Gu (School of Psychology): "What is compassion and how can we measure it?"
    • Naoko Hashimoto (school of Law, Politics, and Sociology): "Why do countries accept refugees through resettlement? The case of Japan."
    • Ingeborg Hasselgren (School of Media, Film, & Music): "Creating a kinder world: The revolutionary potential of cuteness."

Supported by Kindness UK